Naveen invites Asian steel makers to invest in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 6 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday invited the Asian steelmakers to set up their industries in the state, which has abundant natural resources.

“I invite the steel producers to set up their industries in Odisha with the best possible facilitation by the state,” Patnaik said while addressing the Seventh Asia Steel Conference – 2018, organised jointly by the Indian Institute of Metals and Tata Steel here.

Patnaik said Odisha is a mineral rich state with abundant resources of iron ore, coal, chrome and other minerals.

He said the state government has been providing support for the development of mineral-based industries through the adoption of appropriate policies and is producing about half the country’s iron ore.

“Because of indigenous availability of such high-grade iron ore, the critical input for steel making, Odisha has a competitive advantage for the production of steel,” he added.

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From the installed capacity of about only 4 million tonnes per annum of crude steel in 1999-2000, the state now has 47 steel industries with the total capacity of over 33 million tonnes per annum which is about a fourth of the country’s total installed capacity, said the Chief Minister.

He said the pellet plants have an installed capacity of about 29 million tonnes per annum.

While the National Steel Policy-2017 envisages the increase in per capita steel consumption from the present level of 61 kg to 158 kg by 2030, he said the state is aiming to contribute substantially to this national target.

Both the steel manufacturers and the government have to work in tandem to achieve this objective, said Patnaik.

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“My government has taken several initiatives over the years to facilitate setting up and operation of the industries. We have introduced the policy of long term linkage of iron ore, chrome ore and other minerals to the state based industries through Odisha Mining Corporation Limited,” he said.

He informed that three iron-ore blocks have already been auctioned and four more blocks are being readied for auction in the coming months.

“I invite the steel makers to participate in the auction for ensuring their raw material security,” he added.

Patnaik told the gathering that a National Investment and Manufacturing Zone is being developed at Kalinganagar, spread over 160 square kilometres.

The zone is envisaged to become a self-contained ecosystem along with residential, commercial and social amenities, he said, adding that it will enable the potential investors to set up value added downstream industries.

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Union Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said the country has to increase the per capita consumption of steel to achieve the 300 million tonnes per annum steel production target by 2030.

Among others, Asia Steel International Conference Chairman Anand Sen, President of Indian Institute of Metals Dr Biswajit Basu also attended the 7th Asia Steel Conference – 2018.

–IANS

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